Monday, August 29, 2005

we laugh indoors

Ambulance lights flash and break the semi-darkness of dawn.
I reach and stop the ringing that is coming out of somewhere. My sleep is so deep that my dream continues playing out in front of me even after I've opened my eyes. I blink a few times to make it go away.

It is my mother calling me with strange and sleepy tears in her voice. She's very upset and I'm having difficulty piecing together why. My grogginess is unprecedented (and I challenge you to say otherwise).

Her and my father are on their way to the hospital, following the paramedics. Tony had arrived at work early this morning and began to feel strange - his vision blacking in and out and his coordination becoming painfully slow and labored. He knew what was coming, but as always, ignored it hoping that it would pass. Moments later, he collapsed. A teenage co-worker with bad skin and wearing a Paul Frank t-shirt hollered for someone to call an ambulance.
Another seizure.

Word came later that it took him a good 20 minutes to a half hour to fully come around. His memory seems ok this time. He's suffering a slight residual tremor in his left leg that will surely disappear by late afternoon.
I sincerely hope that this poor kid doesn't lose his license.
Much less groggy now, I'm really glad that it wasn't more severe. I don't want another late-August hospital disaster again this year. Last year was enough.

And just when I thought I had had my fill of this crap, just when I thought I had ended all the girly garbage, when I thought I had gotten a completely sound mind back for my efforts...
I don't mean for it to happen, and admittedly, it sort of confuses me. I thought I was finished being crazy. I thought I was finished looking for a counselor.
But then here I am.
But then there I was, three doors down, the headlights of a police cruiser penetrating the interior of the Focus, its cherry lights spinning, and flashing, and mocking - making my reflection in the rear view mirror to look exactly how I felt: crazy and distorted.

It has the potential to make me feel dark and Godless.
I don't like that feeling.
It makes me feel mentally exhausted, but then I don't want to develop any sort of romantical attachment to the idea of being insane, so...

I found myself at Kelly's house last night somewhere around 1:00 in the morning. Maybe 1:30 - I can't quite remember.
Brandon was there.
Brandon's friends were there.
I quickly retreated to the living room where I obsessively checked my email, Sports Center blaring in the background.
His friends left shortly after I arrived there but not before Frankie made his way to the living room to introduce himself and hit on me briefly. I said hello and kept my head down.

Brandon concocted himself a Captain and Coke in the kitchen and then came and joined me on the couch. He flipped through the channels before settling on Rounders - I made him shut it off after one scene because he kept talking along with the dialog. It was impressive (he replicated John Malkovich's Russian accent and everything), but slightly unnerving.

And then Brandon and I talked. We talked for a long time. We talked for several hours. Brandon and I haven't talked like that in at least two and a half years.
I told him [nearly] everything and he told me [nearly] everything. And then we shared sighs. And smiles.
Neither one of us said that we were holding back anything, but I think it was at least somewhat evident.

We talked (quite literally) about sex, and drugs, and rock 'n' roll. And we talked about God, and the church, and even homosexuality for a bit. I asked him about blow, he asked me about Jesus, and somewhere around 5:00 am we hugged, he mouthed the words "I miss you", and then we headed to bed; he to his and I to Kelly's.

I kind of miss you too, Brandon.

So where am I now? I'm here, at home.
I was just painting on my wall again. This plaster definitely feels more artistic than a paint roller, but it's taking forever and I'm not 100% pleased with the results. It's coming along though.
I'm coming along.

And am I feeling more stable and less afraid, and dark, and Godless than last night? Yes. That too.
I'm a reasonable person, I know I am. I have my moments, but overall I am reasonable. I've shaken this back into resolve, and until next time, I'll be just fine (thank you very much).

Currently listening :
The Photo Album
By Death Cab for Cutie
Release date: By 09 October, 2001

Thursday, August 25, 2005

count the berries

Not exactly Camelot, but a lovely place nonetheless.
In all actuality, I didn't enjoy Denver itself all that much. Boulder was pleasant. Idaho Falls was great.
Denver is mediocre, and I'm pretty sure that it knows.

I climbed (drove) to the top of Mt. Evans where I saw fun things such as these peaks:

and these guys as well:

Enough about sheep and mountaintops though.
My computer is typing super slow right now and I can't figure out why. I'll type a sentence and it takes the computer a full 30 seconds to catch up with what I've written. I'm going to be here forever...

I could scream.
But I won't.


I've decided that I want to create something really fun, and nice, and pleasing to the eye. I want to make something from scratch and admire its completion. I want to be creative so badly right now that it nearly hurts.
The crazy this is that I"m feeling so damn creative right now but simultaneously feeling as though I can't write worth a whole hill of beans.
Please bear with me.
I'll take a few Tylenol and then this will all be better.
It will all seem better.

On a completely separate plane of thought: there are a few things that everyone absolutely must try. Certainly succotash and the Segway are among these things, but even more so than that, everyone really must try www.postsecret.comand
Two fabulous websites that will (no doubt) keep you entertained far past 5 o'clock in the evening.
At least you'll miss the return rush hour traffic.
While you're busy surfing the web, I'm in need of a new computer monitor. I've had my sights set on a 32" flat LCD - anyone willing may toss it into their shopping cart on I'll repay with Curves incentive dollars. Lord knows I have plenty of them.

Meanwhile I drive and I sing. I switch CDs often to mix songs and give myself a certain self-induced high that the iPod just doesn't seem to accomplish as much as I'd like it to. Something about rushing to switch the CD while hugging curves at 60mph is relatively calming, and intoxicating.

I realize that the lint is gone, but I am still here.
My life has changed, most certainly. It's always changing, contiuously evolving. I almost always love the evolution after the fact; the simple reality that it even took place at all is what I'm in love with most.
The evolution stretches and pulls. It rips at me in a few places and sometimes I wonder if what is trying to take place can actually even fit in my skin.
It does, eventually.

And isn't this FUN?!

An addendum:
My little brother Tony is engaged.
he's engaged. he's only 21.
I'm going to eat an ice-cream sandwich and watch Team America.

Currently listening :
Alien Lanes
By Guided By Voices
Release date: By 04 April, 1995

Saturday, August 13, 2005

25% off

To all those who will forever be a part of my life: I thank you. I bash you, but then overall, I thank you.

My face is warm still from the sun I absorbed this afternoon on the lake. I like my summer clothes. I like my summer clothes when it is summer, but as soon as fall hits I'm so in love with my winter clothes. But right now, well, summer clothes are it. I even managed to find a swimsuit that I really like. That hasn't happened in about 15 years.

I'm loving all the time that being unemployed is affording me to do things such as sit on the lake for hours at a time, pay my bills, read some books, think... I do a hell of a lot of thinking. It's typically the dangerous kind. And then I wonder, when did I become such a thinker? When did I become such a chick? Something here has to change.
Too much thinking. Not enough doing.
Whatever happened to my copy of "The Unbearable Lightness of Being"?

Whether or not I ought to be thinking, I'm not sure. But I do know that it's stirred up a lot of ideas. It's stirred up quite a few revelations. Mainly that I'm tired. I'm tired of bullshitting. I'm tired of not being creative. I'm tired of being a complainer. I'm tired of not being responsible enough. I'm tired of being too responsible. And most of all, I'm tired of selling God. I'm really really tired of selling God, as if He were a vacuum cleaner, or soap. All this time I've had this different idea of God locked up inside of me and I knew it was different, so different from the traditionalist view of God, that cookie-cutter church view that no one really understands but the masses seem to accept anyway. I'm frustrated with knowing and not living.

Heavens to Betsy...

The frustration will end. The living will start. Count me transparent from now on. Count me ever ready. Count me standing alone.
Just count me.

Addendum: on a completely separate note, can I even express the happiness I feel over my tan? Can I express the happiness I feel over life in general? Yes, I've been tired of these things, but I have been DOING, and it feels great. Yes, yes, there's a whole slew of "new leaf" stuff that has me feeling good, but a new leaf can only take me so far - after that, I feel like God takes me the rest of the way.
He's given me joy for the journey, and it's a wonderful thing.

Currently reading :
Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality
By Donald Miller
Release date: By 17 July, 2003

Friday, August 05, 2005

red sequins

The charm of a hand-written journal has only increased with the introduction of online blogs and "live journal".

And then I feel as though I've reached the point when I have nothing left to write because it's already all been typed... I would much rather my grand children and great grandchildren stumble across an old chest full of leather-bound journals in the attic than stumble across some cached blogs on a Google search. That's not real; that's not tangible.
A hand-written journal, I touched its cover, I turned its pages. That is real. That was, and is, and will be. That's so damn beautiful.

Business has been positively swimming around my brain the past few weeks, but very little of it was making any sense. None of it was going anywhere, most certainly. And then there was yesterday with its purposeful and productive work and then there was today, with it channeled energy and renewed enthusiasm for the task ahead. And there will be tomorrow, with its intended early rise, and exercise, and morning list making. And if I'm feeling really introspective and plain good, then perhaps a little romp through the Psalms and Proverbs.
My Bible reading seems to be reserved for those times when I'm feeling slightly redeemed, for when I'm feeling pious and good, for when I feel like I can approach my Savior, guiltless.

These days those times are few and far between for certain.
My life is spinning and moving, halting and starting again.
The life is constantly being breathed into me, over and over again.
And I know my Redeemer lives. And I know my life's work is not yet complete.
I'm sad to leave the present... sometimes I'm excited to move onto the next... when I'm not too busy being scared out of my mind with clueless wonder: what is next?
God only knows.

He cares more for a fraction of my life than for the lives of the thousands of tsunami victims in Asia.
Why can't I allow myself to love him?

All these changes in my life.
All these changes.
All these changes.
All these changes...

One year, and all these changes. I'm not the same person I was at all.
But oh yes, here I am.
I am here, only a tiny bit battered and bruised.
Only slightly marked.
Yes, I am so different, but here I am, right where I left me.
Right where I left God. And how amazing is that?
And I'm right here where I left God.
Right here where I left God.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

first, october

it's not quite new news, but still surprising every time I see it. oh my.

It's funny the way God works sometimes.
But then, well... not so funny at all.

Currently listening :
Her Majesty
By The Decemberists
Release date: By 09 September, 2003

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


I've been a bit blog happy lately, this I realize. It comes from being unemployed. It comes from having a big mouth (or large hands - both are equally applicable in this instance), it comes from desiring endless amounts of entertainment ranging between the brackets of really cheap and free. It comes from liking the sound of the keyboard as I type at 80 wpm...

I was cleaning out my computer today and came across this picture that I kind of forgot about for awhile. I really, really love it. In fact, it might be in the top five favorite pictures that I've ever taken. Well, maybe the top 10, but it's definitely up there.

This makes the top 10 as well:

There are others too that I don't quite feel like getting into. I do feel like getting into making things again though. Maybe I'll glue together my own pinata... right now I think I'd even be satisfied with a miniature ski lodge built from lincoln logs.

dogma style

I can't believe I just ate pudding and blueberries for lunch. It's too hot to cook. I'm too broke to eat out.
I'm going to Denver next week.
I might get a job within the next few weeks (don't worry - it won't be anything TOO exciting).
I might also (depending on how much money I have) take a trip down to North Carolina in a few weeks.

My day is sunny today, but my room is a mess and there's not near enough light in here. I still need to paint my walls.
Does anyone want to help me paint my walls?

As for the article below: Yes, I know, consider the source. But the source's source must also be considered. Elisabeth - I figured you would especially be interested in this.


Salty dogma

Bono gives an explicit confession of being saved by Grace, not Karma | by Gene Edward Veith

Is Bono, the lead singer and songwriter for the rock group U2, a Christian? He says he is and writes about Christianity in his lyrics. Yet many people question whether Bono is "really" a Christian, due to his notoriously bad language, liberal politics, and rock star antics (though he has been faithfully married for 23 years). But in a new book of interviews, Bono in Conversation by Michka Assayas, Bono, though using some salty language, makes an explicit confession of faith.

The interviewer, Mr. Assayas, begins by asking Bono, Doesn't he think "appalling things" happen when people become religious? Bono counters, "It's a mind-blowing concept that the God who created the Universe might be looking for company, a real relationship with people, but the thing that keeps me on my knees is the difference between Grace and Karma."

The interviewer asks, What's that? "At the center of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics—in physical laws—every action is met by an equal or an opposite one," explains Bono. "And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that. . . . Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I've done a lot of stupid stuff."

The interviewer asks, Like what? "That's between me and God. But I'd be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge," says Bono. "It doesn't excuse my mistakes, but I'm holding out for Grace. I'm holding out that Jesus took my sins onto the Cross, because I know who I am, and I hope I don't have to depend on my own religiosity."

Then the interviewer marvels, "The Son of God who takes away the sins of the world. I wish I could believe in that."

"The point of the death of Christ is that Christ took on the sins of the world, so that what we put out did not come back to us, and that our sinful nature does not reap the obvious death," replies Bono. "It's not our own good works that get us through the gates of Heaven."

The interviewer marvels some more: "That's a great idea, no denying it. Such great hope is wonderful, even though it's close to lunacy, in my view. Christ has His rank among the world's great thinkers. But Son of God, isn't that farfetched?"

Bono comes back, "Look, the secular response to the Christ story always goes like this: He was a great prophet, obviously a very interesting guy, had a lot to say along the lines of other great prophets, be they Elijah, Muhammad, Buddha, or Confucius. But actually Christ doesn't allow you that. He doesn't let you off that hook. Christ says, No. I'm not saying I'm a teacher, don't call me teacher. I'm not saying I'm a prophet. I'm saying: 'I'm the Messiah.' I'm saying: 'I am God incarnate.' . . . So what you're left with is either Christ was who He said He was—the Messiah—or a complete nutcase. . . . The idea that the entire course of civilization for over half of the globe could have its fate changed and turned upside-down by a nutcase, for me that's farfetched."

What is most interesting in this exchange is the reaction of the interviewer, to whom Bono is, in effect, witnessing. This hip rock journalist starts by scorning what he thinks is Christianity. But it is as if he had never heard of grace, the atonement, the deity of Christ, the gospel. And he probably hadn't. But when he hears what Christianity is actually all about, he is amazed.[]

Currently listening :
Satanic Panic in the Attic
By Of Montreal
Release date: By 06 April, 2004

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

some things that aren't so bad for you

"My most recent faith struggle is not one of intellect. I don't really do that anymore. Sooner or later you just figure out there are some [people] who don't believe in God and they can prove He doesn't exist, and some other [people] who do believe in God and they can prove He does exists, and the argument stopped being about God a long time ago and now it's about who is smarter, and honestly I don't care. I don't believe I will ever walk away from God for intellectual reasons. Who knows anything anyway? If I walk away from Him, and please pray that I never do, I will walk away for social reasons, identity reasons, deep emotional reasons, the same reasons that any of us do anything."

-Donald Miller

I really really do love this... I really do.
Yes. I'm still reading it. If I weren't also reading 6 other books right now, I could be finishing it a lot sooner.

Currently reading :
Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality
By Donald Miller
Release date: By 17 July, 2003